We conducted a randomized, double-blind, crossover study comparing the antiemetic efficacy of dexamethasone and prochlorperazine in 42 patients with cancer who were receiving outpatient chemotherapy, mainly without cisplatin. Patients experienced significantly less nausea and vomiting with dexamethasone than with prochlorperazine (P<0.02 and <0.03, respectively). Twenty-five patients experienced no nausea with dexamethasone, as compared with 14 patients taking prochlorperazine (P<0.001). Similarly, 29 patients receiving dexamethasone did not vomit, as compared with 18 receiving prochlorperazine (P<0.001). Somnolence was the most frequent side effect, occurring in 60 per cent of patients receiving prochlorperazine and in 12 per cent of those receiving dexamethasone (P<0.001). Patients also experienced less suppression of appetite while receiving dexamethasone (P<0.02). We conclude that dexamethasone is an effective and safe antiemetic in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy without cisplatin. (N Engl J Med 1984; 311:549–52.).
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